tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 31, 2011 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
nondisclosure agreements. one of cain's campaign managers dismissed the allegations during a "daily rundown" interview this morning. >> let me tell you, herman cain has never sexually harassed anybody, period, end of story. every negative word and accusation in the article is sourced to a series of unnamed or anonymous sources. and this is questionable at best. i am not personally aware of any cash settlement relating to sexual harassment charges to mr. cain. >> nbc news has not independently verified politico's report. we are joined by one of the co-authors of that report, anna palmer, from politico. anna, herman cain spoke this morning in washington. he didn't address the allegations. he is expected to speak later today, though. go ahead and take us through your reporting and what politico has heard from herman cain since
the story broke. >> two women alleged sexual inappropriate behavior by mr. cain in the late 1990s when he was head of the national restaurant association. politico took these allegations very seriously. we have several sources backing them up. we gave the cain campaign several days to respond to us. you know, even the candidate himself as early as sunday would not respond to this. actually, when asked have you ever been accused of sexual harassment, he turned the question on the reporter and did not respond. >> actually, anna, we do have video of jonathan martin confronting herman cain about this. let's go ahead and watch. >> i'm not going to comment on that. because, you know, i think that is one of those kinds of things that -- >> that was the last question. thanks. last question. >> have you ever been accused of sexual harassment? >> have you ever been accused of
sexual harassment. what do you make of the way herman cain handled this confrontation? >> it's unclear why his campaign has chosen up to the publishing of this story to not respond directly. since it's published, they have come out. i think what will be really telling is what he says later today. >> right. cain could address the scandal at 12:30 eastern. i think the big question is where does the campaign go from here and how destructive this could be to his political future. >> at this point it's really unclear because he has yet himself to take up the issue. you know, he's a candidate who's risen very quickly, has been able to, you know, be the lead gop candidate so far. and so how he chooses to handle this, so far it has been not directly. and what he does next will be, you know, the truth for kind of moving forward of how he'll be able to, you know, maintain his leadership spot in the polls. >> right. he will be speaking to the national press club at 12:30 p.m. eastern. we will be watching. politico's anna palmer, thank you so much. >> thanks.
and we'll have much more of that "daily rundown" interview with herman cain's chief of staff, mark block. it was pretty fascinating. you can go ahead and listen in at 11:30 a.m. eastern straight ahead. we're going to have much more. in the meantime, some good news for the cain campaign. the first state to vote in 2012 has the former god father's ceo in first place. cain holds a slim lead over mitt romney. front-runners are well ahead of the rest of the pack. even though neither candidate has poured major resources into the hawkeye state. jennifer jacobs is the chief political writer for the des moines register. she joins us now. jennifer, before we get to the poll, we just spoke with anna palmer from politico. i'm sure you were listening to that report. how do you feel these new allegations will play out with iowa voters? >> well, i would not underestimate the power of our iowa conservatives to forgive. don't underestimate their desire to really get rid of barack obama from the white house. and don't underestimate their dislike for mitt romney as the
other choice -- you know, he was the second one in our iowa poll. so they have been willing to overlook some of his flaws in the past like, for example, there were some who really thought that herman cain's kind of pro-choice abortion comments were going to hurt him. that just was not reflected in our iowa poll. it's just really hard to tell. >> all right. jennifer, you know, mark block was on "the daily rundown" earlier. he was talking about cain's viral video, how times have changed when it comes to campaigns. i believe that video of him smoking. i think that got more than 1 million hits. and it really begs the question, does herman cain really need a footprint in iowa to win? does he really need to make more stops? he's been there once. i believe mitt romney has been there three times. what do you think? >> yeah. i think so. the support for herman cain in our iowa poll was really soft. these people were saying, we just are not locked up in any sort of a concrete way behind herman cain. they're willing to give him a look as well as mitt romney. but they made it very clear that
they want that business experience on a candidate's resume. so that's why they like herman cain and mitt romney. but they also said, 59% said they just do not have a candidate -- they don't have their minds made up. they're willing to be persuaded. only 15% said they do have their minds made up. this is just -- they're just saying we're willing to take a look. think if these candidates don't come to iowa and answer questions directly they're not going to show up on january 3rd in the dead of the winter to caucus for these candidates. >> it is going to be a cold, cold night. there are reports mitt romney might be paying closer attention to iowa now. he has made those three campaign stops. he at no time participate in the straw poll. he wasn't at that faith and freedom event that i believe six other candidates turned out at. what do you think about mitt romney. is it time to change his strategy as well? >> well, i know there's a lot of republicans here who are urging him to say that. we've reported that many, many times. that he has definite supporters here. he has holdovers from four years ago when he had a near constant effort in iowa.
there are people here who want him to come, who want him to answer questions. they want to just check in with him again this election cycle and vet him a little bit more. i think they'd be very willing to go for him. there is not a whole lot of enthusiasm amongst our born again christians and our very conservative christians for mitt romney whatsoever. but there is -- he definitely has strengths in iowa. very very popular with seniors in iowa. he's very popular with people who say they're going to the caucuses for the first time. he's very popular with women in iowa. >> why do you think he stayed away this time around? do you think it has anything to do with what happened in the 2008? because he poured a lot of his resources into iowa in '08. and you know -- you know what the outcome was. huckabee ended up winning. >> yeah. exactly. evangelical voters, those born again christians really stalled his campaign here four years ago. in our october 2007 iowa poll, people were just as, you know, undecided at that point as they are this year. at that point last cycle. 67% were undecided.
so we could definitely see some -- some changes. but, yeah, as far as romney coming, he's definitely going to have to come here to prove himself again. >> all right. 65 days away. a whole lot can happen in that time. the des moines register's jennifer jacobs, nice to see you. thank you. president obama is pushing ahead today with another executive order. for americans who need prescription drugs. part of his we can't wait campaign. follows several unilateral issues signed last week. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house. what does this new initiative aim to do? >> reporter: this new initiative is aimed at prescription drug shortages. according to the fda last year there were a record number of prescription drug shortages. about 178. fda also found that some of the drugs had their prices bumped up about trying to tackle that problem with this executive
order. as you say this fits in with his we can't wait campaign where he's essentially trying to say if congress is not going to act to pass his jobs bill he's going to act unilaterally. here's what the executive order will do. it will ask the fda to broaden reporting of potential shortages of certain prescription drugs, speed up the review process of applications so basically the fda can speed up production or allow manufacturers to speed up production of certain drugs. it would also call on the fda to provide more information to the justice department so that they can crack down on price gouging. so that's what this executive order is aimed at doing. it's the president's fifth we can't wait action. as you mentioned, veronica, others included help for homeowners who were under watt we er, folks struggling to pay off student loans as well as veterans looking for work. some economists and analysts have looked at these initiatives and said they're really not going to have a huge impact overall. republicans for that reason have accused the president of playing politics. the white house has said, look, if we can have a small impact,
that's what we want to do with these initiatives. veronica? >> nbc's kristen welker, thank you. >> absolutely. a nasty early winter trick from mother nature is proving to be anything but a treat for those living in the northeast. after a surprise snowstorm struck the region and killed at least 11 people. at least 2 million residents from virginia to vermont are still without heat or electricity. today the cleanup is under way. but with hundreds of downed power lines and exploded transformers in need of repair, utility crews say it could take a week to restore power in some areas. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel is in west milford, new jersey and joins us now. mike, what is the situation there today? >> reporter: first off, we were in west milford yesterday, veronica. we're about an hour away now in morris township. we're still in new jersey. still a lot of power out in the state right now. about a third of a million homes without power. way down. pse and g is reporting 7% 0% of
customers that have been without power are on. this is a big hardwood, big oak tree. it took out these big transmission lines, cable, power, phone, and stretching down the street you can see that telephone pole with a transformer. it hasn't exploded. you can see how it's leaning. people can't get through here, obviously. in fact, i just saw one gentleman. he ventured out, looked left and right and put his arms up. first time he's been out on the road from his home since the storm hit on saturday. up in these areas, over a foot of snow. we're getting melting. the roads are not the issue today. it's cleaning up the mess. coming up here from around newark, there's debris everywhere on the side of the roads. a lot of cleanup yesterday in the neighborhoods. again, it's getting through these areas and trying to get the power lines on, power lines back up and the power back on. as you mentioned, some folks may be without power all week long. they're hoping to get most of the power back on by wednesday. by the way, veronica, a rare almost unheard of october snow
day for the kids in many spots in the northeast. back to you. >> mike, it is halloween. i'd imagine there are plenty of risks to come along with those downed power lines, the trees, if you will. >> reporter: right. they're urging -- they're urging parents to be very, very careful. stay with their children. assume that all wires like these are live wires. they also would, you know, people are urging the trick-or-treaters to trick-or-treat before the sun goes down. luckily can daylight time continuing an extra week now into early november, we have an extra hour of light. i don't know about where you live. where i live the trick-or-treaters show up well into the 9:00 and sometimes the 10:00 hour on halloween night. >> yeah. folks got to be careful out there. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel, we do appreciate it. thank you. the storm also caused major hassles for air travelers leaving thousands of fliers stranded at airports. passengers on one jet blue flight from ft. lauderdale to newark, new jersey, were stranded for more than seven hours without food, water or
functioning toilets. finally the pilot radioed airport officials pleading with them to send police. >> jet blue 504. >> go ahead. >> i got a problem here on the airplane. i'm going to need to have the cops on board. there's a cop car sitting in front of me right here, right now. i need some air stare spot over here and a cop spot on air plain. >> the plane landed in hartford around 1:30 p.m. and didn't budge until 9:00 p.m. the government is now investigating. a lot of people are talking about a speech governor rick perry gave while in new hampshire this weekend. let's just say it was a little bizarre. >> this is such a cool state. i mean, come on. live free or die? i mean, it's like, live free or die! victory or death. bring it! plus, pork barrel spending or not? white house majority leader eric cantor is saying about two different high speed rail projects.
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rick perry says he'll do five more debates after critics slammed his decision to limit debate appearances. as he struggles in polls he's showing a different side of his character. one that's a little more loose, shalle say. carefree. and maybe downright bizarre. take a look at this speech in new hampshire on friday. >> if -- if they print any more money over there in washington, the gold's going to be good. that. 20% flat tax. put it on there. take your deductions off. send it in. that little plan that i just shared with you doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint. if you know what i mean.
like 9% expansion. i love herman. is he the best? today has been awesome, girl! >> joining me now is a democratic strategist and former campaign spokesman for hillary clinton. also joining us, john feehery, republican strategist and president of quinn gillespie communications. do you think that clip will help republicans see a lighter, funnier side of perry or do you think it will give them cause for concern. >> i was not in the crowd. it seemed like he was getting some pretty big laughs there. i think rick perry needs to show a lighter side. i nithink he needs to show his full personality. i think if you make a crowd laugh, that's probably a good thing. the question is, is this part of a conservative strategy or is this just a one off. i don't know the answer to that question. obviously he needs to shake things up.
his campaign's in a little bit of trouble right now. >> did he cross the line? mo, i want to get your thoughts here. >> look, i mean, i don't think rick perry's problem is that people don't see a lighter side of him. i think the problem is he's seen as being too light. he's too light on substance. he's too light on policy. and he's too light on leadership. rick perry is a guy who entered into this race with so much fanfare, seen as an answer to a weak republican field. but his drop has been -- has been out of control. the more he speaks, the less people like him. i think acting weird and making bad jokes and being lighter isn't -- isn't what's going to turn this thing around for him. >> all right. heading into iowa, i believe he's in the single digits now. mo, perry, he's also been hammering mitt romney for flip-flopping. he's also been doing back flips. days after reviving this birther debate he says he has no doubt the president is a citizen.
now his campaign is confirming he's going to attend the next five debates. what's going on here? >> in a lot of ways i think mitt romney and rick perry are very similar in the fact that both seem to be lacking a real rationale for their candidacies or real -- any sort of real guiding political philosophy. perry -- you can't -- you can't jump around like this. you can't say you're in debates one day or out of debates one day and then in the next day. you can't bring up the birther controversy and then back away from it. you can't flip-flop on immigration and on a whole host of issues. people see right through that. rick perry needs to figure out why he wants to be president, start talking about that. because right now he's in a real, real bad free fall to the point where he's near irrelevance. >> john, quickly, rick perry hit the president and mitt romney in the same breath in his last ad. take a listen to this. >> if you're looking for a slick politician or a guy with great
teleprompter skills, we already have that and he's destroying our economy. woo i'm a doer. not a talker. in texas we created 40% of the new jobs in the country since june of 2009. they say we can't do that in washington. well, they're wrong. and they need to go. >> john, what's your take on his tactic here? is this his best tact to link romney and obama? >> i think that he's trying anything he can to get back in the race. i think that when you're at 7% and you once were at 25%, you know, obviously some things have gone wrong with his campaign. i think the idea that he's saying i'm a doer, not a talker, i think that's a pretty effective strategy. because he does have a record down in texas about creating jobs. i think he's not very good at -- so far hasn't shown to be very effective at debates. so, you know, he's trying some different things. he's not out of it by any means. he still has a lot of money. he still has a lot of organization. i wouldn't count rick perry out yet. i still think at the end of the day it's going to be him and
mitt romney fighting this thing out. >> republican strategist john feehery, we thank you for your time. many elections have been decided by the economy, but not all. why president obama is hoping for a repeat of 1984. plus, 7 billion people around the world. that is the population milestone which will be reached sometime today. but can our planet handle that many people? ♪ sent her back to college for her sophomore year ♪
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republicans have drawn a line in the sand when it comes to spending fiercely against adding to the deficit and voting against new revenues to help stimulate the company. some of the most prominent spending nay sayers inside and outside the beltway don't seem to have a problem with using stimulus money to help their constituents. dan stone is the white house correspondent for "newsweek" and the daily beast. you can read his article in the
current issue of "newsweek." good day to you. thanks for joining us. >> hi, veronica. >> let's highlight three examples you've uncovered in your "newsweek" article starting with eric cantor and funding for high speed rail in virginia. >> right. right after president obama took office, eric cant tor, majority leader in the house, went on national tv and derided a high speed rail project in california linking california to nevada and las vegas. that was partisan pork. pork barrel spending. a few months later we found that he requested funding from the department of transportation for a certain -- a different high-speed rail project in virginia. very much his state. two different projects, his staff say. since he has realized the country can't afford either. opposing one and supporting another is very much the theme we found with a lot of these tea party members. >> right. florida congressman allen west was elected in a tea party wave of 2010. he hasn't been shy about asking for federal money as well, right, to help his districts? >> he's been in office about ten months now. he's written at least four
letters seeking funding of varying quantities for different pet projects. pedestrian walkways, solar energy funding and grants from the department of energy to benefit his constituents. his office says that he is not for the stimulus or pork barrel spending, but he's for local projects that benefit his district. >> what has his defense been? >> his defense has very much been we can't afford these massive projects like the stimulus. but i'm going to take each spending measure individually and judge it and weigh how much it affects my constituents. the theme in this thesis, it's pork spending if it's in someone else's district, but not in my district. >> let's bring 2012 into this now. ricker perry is trying to be the conservative figure in the presidential race. he also was okay with accepting $2 billion in fstimulus. >> absolutely. he's one of several president l candidates. in 208 and '09 we remember rick
perry as the candidate who said texas could secede in the union. around that time he accepted about $2 billion in stimulus for his state. >> dan stone, thanks so much for spending some time with us today. >> thanks, veronica zblrjts you can grab the magazine's latest issue available right now on newsstands. u.s. troops might be coming home from afghanistan by the end of the year, but they're not leaving the region for good. details of a new troop buildup. plus, herman cain's campaign hits back against allegations of sexual misbehavior with two women who once worked for the candidate. hear more from cain's chief of staff. you know him by now from this infamous campaign ad. sure wish you guys would bring layaway back. actually... that way i could split my payments up into, like, little bite-size chunks. yeah, i mean you feel me right? i mean... yeah. uh, sir... ah... [ male announcer ] layaway's back for christmas in our electronics, toys, and jewelry departments.
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in the 1990s. the two national restaurant association employees later reportedly signed agreements and took financial leaving their jobs. cain's campaign manager went into damage control mode this morning with chuck todd on "the daily rundown." >> he said to me emphatically. when there's facts, bring them to me. let me face my accusers and we'll deal with it then. >> i can tell you, i have my own sourcing on this that talks about a cash settlement from somebody who was familiar and was working at the national restaurant association. i understand there are nondisclosure agreements on this, and that's part of the reason why you're going to get sometime some of this tougher sourcing on this. because in order to get the money, you had to sign this. but there's a lot of string here. he will -- is he issuing you a flat -- even to you, that doesn't sound like he's giving you a flat-out denial. >> i would suggest that you contact the national restaurant association and ask them about
any settlement. i am not personally aware of any settlement dealing with mr. cain. >> you understand how that sounds? >> yes, i do. it's very serious. >> no. but, i mean, the fact that you cannot say it and that you're telling us we have to go to the association. >> that's the place to get the answer. and if there was a settlement. >> how concerned are you that this -- that this story -- because you can't -- you can't and the campaign cannot be the ones to stop this, that you're saying we have to go to -- >> i think mr. cain will be addressing it today. again, mr. cain has never sexually harassed anyone, period. >> and herman cain finally responded to those allegations. here is his response moments ago in a television interview. >> yes. i have never sexually harassed anyone, let's say that. secondly, i've never sexually harassed anyone. yes, i was falsely accused while i was at the national restaurant association.
and i say "falsely" because it turned out after the investigation to be baseless. it's totally baseless and totally false. never have i committed any sort of sexual harassment. >> totally baseless and totally false. cain is expected to go into further detail about these allegations at a national press club event in the next hour. go ahead and stay with msnbc for the very latest on herman cain. we're going to bring you updates throughout the day. well, two top advisers to president obama did their best to frame the debate on the economy sunday. the president's campaign adviser david axlerod and white house adviser david plouffe took to the sunday shows to hammer republican opposition and highlight obama's efforts. >> we just have to get the congress to act on it. their strategy seems to be obstruction and delay. and people can't afford that. >> right now we haven't been able to get largely republicans in congress to cooperate. in the meantime, the president's going to do everything he can, whether it's on housing, student loans, we're going to keep this
up. >> joining me now is msnbc contributor jared bernstein. nice to see you. democrats have urged the president to take a page out of president clinton's book and some of these piecemeal initiatives and populous speeches seem reminiscent of president clinton's tenure. is he writing a new economic narrative if you will? >> i think to some extent that's correct. i think the president for much of his first term has been somewhat shying away from small clintonesque kinds of initiatives. he doesn't have a choice right now given the intractable partisan barriers in congress. i actually think that this we can't wait theme that he's promoting along with the kinds of dynamics that you just heard axelrod and plouffe describe are working pretty well. because i think they merge with the public sense that, in fact, they can't wait. if you're on the other side of
that argument, as many republicans are finding themselves, it looks like you're okay with waiting. >> and we learned that the economy grew at 2.5% in the past quarter. also the dow has been up. it's up 12% in october. what do you think, jared? could these signs of improvement really change the president's me message come november? >> a little bit. but it's going to take more than a quarter of 2.5%. the economics of this are kind of interesting and perhaps somewhat underappreciated. growing 2.5% is a lot better than something less and it certainly puts the double dip fear at least temporarily behind us. but it's not fast enough to bring the unemployment rate down in a noticeable way. in fact, if you look at the forecast for the jobs report that's coming out later this week it's pretty much to stay around where we are. job growth in the 100,000 range. unemployment around where it is. also the president's measures, you talk about the mortgage relief, the student loans, i happen to think they're very
good, positive measures. in both cases, by the way, those help with kind of the deleveraging cycle, paying down debt. they're too small to move the needle on unemployment much. for that you really need to go to the jobs plan. definitely moves in the right direction and it's much better to have the economy expanding the way it is. but growth needs to accelerate, no question. >> right. let's go ahead and take a look at history for a second. recent presidents who had to battle tough unemployment numbers we know that, what, there are 14 million americans right now that are unemployed. presidents ford, carter, bush sr. all faced a high jobless rate. they lost. only president reagan overcame soaring unemployment. jared, what can president obama take from these presidents? >> two things. one, a lot of times with unemployment, it's very easy and tempting to focus on the level and not the trend. i actually think that it's the trend that's either your friend or your enemy here. in other words, if the unemployment rate is moving in the right direction, numerous months from now, that's going to help him a whole lot more than
if it's stuck. even if it's still at a pretty high level, it's getting some momentum. but there's -- there's also the case that he doesn't really have an opponent now. once he -- once one of those republican candidates surfaces as his opponent, he will be hitting ever harder on the message that really what their playbook seems to be is one that kind of got us into this mess in the first place. so we'll have to see where that dynamic plays out as well. >> all right. we still have 12 months to fo. msnbc contributor jared bernstein, nice to see you. pressure is on congress over the next few weeks while the supercommittee works to reach a big deal on the debt. the representatives in washington have a laundry list of big things americans hope both sides can come together to accomplish. luke russert covers capitol hill for us and joins us. luke, good to see you. >> good morning, veronica. >> let's go ahead and take a look at some of what's on the docket. spending bills for 2012, pieces
of the president's jobs bill. give us the best and worst case scenarios and could we be looking at a possible government shutdown here? >> well, the best case scenario is that republicans and democrats hold hands and decide to fund the government with plenty of time before that november 18th deadline. as we've seen with this congress because it is divided, that usually is not the case. however, i've heard from sources on both the right and the left that any talk of government shutdown close to thanksgiving is not something either party wants to deal with. that's why there's an idea that the house and the senate will have some sort of agreement in place at least a few days ahead of that november 18th deadline where they'll say, look, let's extend the deadline one more month, have christmas be the back end, and take another month to negotiate. we'll have a one-month funding bill to avoid any type of terrible conflict. also within that you're going to see a little bit of movement on the president's jobs bill.
>> the government needs to get together and hold hands. all right. luke russert said it. good to see you, luke, thanks. here's what's topping the news right now. ruth madoff is talking publicly for the first time about her husband, bernie madoff. the man who scammed billions of dollars from investors. she talked to matt lauer about the couple's attempted suicide in 2008 and says things have not gotten any easier. >> not one bit. there's not a day that goes by that -- well, of course, with mark. it's just unbearable. but the victims go on and on. and my life is, you know, just always full of shame. walking down the street. anything i do is difficult. >> ruth and her son andrew tell all in a new book, "truth and consequences." bernie madoff is serving 150 years in prison. the manslaughter trial against dr. conrad murray is set to resume in about 20 minutes. the prosecution is expected to
cross examine the defense's final witness, an anesthesiology expert. paul white says it was michael jackson and not murray who gave himself a fatal overdose of propofol. according to steve jobs' sister his final words were, quote, oh wow, oh wow, oh wow. mona simpson says jobs said that after looking at her, his children, and then his wife. the apple founder died on october 5th at the age of 56. what a legacy he left behind. according to reports, apple has more than $81 billion in the bank. that's more than the u.s. government. the massive troop withdrawal from iraq this year won't mean there won't be american boots on the ground in the persian gulf region. the obama administration is expected to reposition forces in kuwait to prevent a collapse in iraqi security from having a major impact in the region. nbc chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins me now. good day to you. >> good day, veronica? >> was this always part of the plan?
what kind of troop level will we see in the region after the new year? >> the u.s. military had planned on keeping a small number of forces in iraq to provide training and guidance advisers to the iraqi government. but also to serve as sort of a trip wire and a hedge against the neighboring country there of iran. so when talks between the u.s. and iraq broke down about keeping some american troops there, the pentagon and military started to scramble to figure out, well, how are we going to make this work? they started looking at providing some kind of training for iraqi troops outside of iraq in such countries as kuwait. but also they're looking at sending several thousand additional troops into the region, perhaps kuwait, to provide that kind of hedge or buffer to any kind of actions by iran. you know, it's important to remember, there are already 40,000 american troops besides in iraq in -- at a naval base in bahrain, at an air base in qatar and other places. so what the u.s. is trying to do
is make it -- make it clear to iran that the u.s. is in the middle east to stay. and why? oil. that's a big issue in terms of the u.s. military keeping stability in that part of the world. veronica? >> nbc's jim miklaszewski, we appreciate it, jim. it's worth noting that today also marks the end of the nato mission in libya. three united nations workers were killed in a suicide bombing in kandahar today. the bombing and assault is the second major attack in three days targeting foreigners or nato troops. on saturday the taliban launched a suicide bombing in kabul killing 17 people, including five nato trips. one western diplomat suspects pakistan's hakani network in that attack. there are now 7 billion people living on this planet. this milestone is being celebrated around the world. but not everyone is celebrating. why there is cause for concern. plus, it might be halloween today, but retailers are already focusing on the next big shopping holiday. and how to get your bucks.
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a monster milestone for mother earth. according to u.s. estimates, the world's population hits 7 billion today and dozens of newborns are contenders for the title of 7 billionth baby. a baby in the philippines was born in manila moments before midnight. to give you how big 7 billion is, stand that many people shoulder to shoulder that would form a line 4 million miles long. to put it even more perspective that's eight trips to the moon and back. eight. some experts are worried our planet may not be able to handle it. professor jack goldstone is a sociologist at george mason school of public policy. thanks for joining us. >> good morning. >> 7 billion people. this is a pretty staggering
figure. we already live in a world where 900 million people have no access to clean water, nearly a billion go hungry, 2.6 billion have no adequate sanitation. so what does that mean? 7 billion people. what does that mean for the planet? >> well, 7 billion is a huge number. it's not a stopping point. there are another 2, possibly 3 billion more on the way if things go on as expected. what that means is we can't proceed with business as usual if we simply keep dumping the garbage and wasting the water and fouling the air the way we've been doing. the planet's not going to be happy and neither will we. >> with added population you have to factor in ageing as well. almost half of all adults in germany, italy, ja and south korea are living to the age 60 or older. people living a longer life span. how does this affect the global economy? especially in terms of how we
consume resources like fuel and food like you were just saying? >> well, the good news is the fact the population is growing is a result of our success. people are living longer, more babies that are born are surviving than ever before. so those are good things. but what determines whether that 7 billionth person is going to be a trick or a treat for mother earth depends on whether they're going to grow up to be productive, discover a cure for it is, maybe win a nobel prize in peace or literature, or whether that young woman is going to grow up as an angry young person who can't find a job. really it's all up to us. the burden on the planet is not just one of numbers, but it's how we act. >> all right. professor jack goldstone of the george mason university school of public policy. nice article, sir. thanks so much for stopping by. happy halloween. >> thank you. happy halloween. it is halloween today. nobody does it better than the "today" show. a look at their costumes, that's coming up next. plus, only 54 more shopping days until christmas.
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well, the "today" show team really gets into halloween. this year's theme? the royal wedding. matt as prince william, and kate middleton. they welcome back a very important guest. >> the only shame is we don't have the queen. they're telling me -- what? the queen has decided to join us? >> hello! hello! hello! happy wedding, darling. oh! my hat fell off! oh, my god! >> that's good to see meredith. americans spent more than 2.5
billion on halloween costumes this year, and they're already gearing up for the christmas holidays. a survey found that 39% of americans began their holiday shopping in october. meanwhile, retailers are opening up a new host of strategies to encourage early buying. courtney reagan. i can't believe it's halloween and we're already talking christmas. >> of course. doesn't that just go hand in hand, halloween and christmas? we're here at the manhattan mall because many retailers think this is a really, really important time of year, and they want to snap up those consumer dollars. they figure if they can get them earlier, it's better than not getting them at all. in fact, one of the consumer economists we spoke to thinks that this period between october and november is actually growing in importance as for the percentage of sales that are done for the holidays. so we've got a lot of retailers that are already pointing out promotions, they're already letting us know what their plans are. they don't want to be left
behind if other retailers are making announcements and they're not. for instance, macy's has announced they will open on midnight on black friday, target also opening at midnight on black friday. expect to hear more to come. interesting, though, bloomingdale's says they'll open at 8:00 a.m. it's two hours earlier than normal on black friday. something else interesting that they're doing is a lot of these retailers are sort of leaking out their black friday sales and promotions in their circumstance la -- circulars. they haven't done this in the past but they want to make sure they're in competition. what are customers making sure they're buying? we talked to craig johnson and this is what he had to say. >> the headline is a luxury will be up about 12%, mid tier up around 5, 6%, and value retails up around 8%.
so, again, growth throughout the spectrum but it's led by luxury. >> and apparel is one of those things on the top of almost everyone's wish list. apparently 50% of folks are looking for clothing and accessories in stockings and under the trees. >> courtney, thanks. the brand new magazine show "rock center" with brian williams, that pre views tonight at 10/9 central. make sure you tune in to that. make sure you have a safe and happy halloween. where is your costume? >> i left it in the back room. what are you going as? >> i'm an angel, can't you tell? >> thank you very much, veronica de la cruz. herman cain responding to accusations of improper conduct. we're also going to hear from
herman cain himself. he did an interview a short time ago. i will have that sound for you, examine he is expected to speak at some point here once again down in washington. we'll continue to monitor developments and keep you posted on that. plus, we'll put president obama's we can't wait initiatives to the test. will they create jobs and help the economy? more on that top of the hour right here on msnbc. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon.
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good monday. i'm craig herman. herman cain's campaign is answering allegations about inappropriate behavior. >> i've never sexually harassed anyone, and yes, i was falsely accused while at the national restaurant association, and i say falsely because it turned out to be baseless. >> cain due to speak at the national press club in washington, d.c. within the